Kickstart Commissions – meet the artists!

We’re very excited to introduce the artists, composers and producers commissioned to create new work as part of our Kickstart Commissions series.

We launched Kickstart with the aim of inspiring artists to bring meaningful, joyful experiences to audiences as we all look to a brighter tomorrow.  Inspired by the spirit of Hull and the North, the new pieces explore stories and ideas that define a sense of place and embody the spirit of jazz and improvised music as forward-facing music that’s continually evolving. The commissions will premiere in Hull over the next two years, at Hull Jazz Festival events.

Stories of Hull, its people and history feature prominently in the series. Factory Free-set sees Vulliamy Murray Bennett Trio collaborate with acclaimed Hull writer and director Maureen Lennon on pieces exploring the unsung stories, dreams and experiences from within Hull’s factory walls. Late Night Marauders’ Candyfloss and Carousels invites audiences to step right up and experience all the fun of the fair in a new series of songs inspired by Hull Fair – a Hull institution for over 700 years.

Singer Camille Maalawy and composer Tom Lawrence will work with school children and community groups from across the city to create Songs-upon-Hull,a series of songs themed around migration, connection and cultural identity. And violinist and composer Matt Holborn presents Here, a suite of four new pieces dedicated to the City of Hull and inspired by the city’s history, its place on the map and its people.

Another of the themes that features throughout the series is our connection with nature, so important to so many of us over the past 18 months. Producers and composers The Broken Orchestra will create In Motion, a collection of music that, alongside being performed live, will also be available long-term to experience as a series of walks, set along and inspired by rivers and canals of the North.

Composer and producer James Rushworth’s Trespass is a new multimedia performance that documents the story of the 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass. And, in the first of two seed commissions, Paul Sargeson and Chris Sykes explore the Wild Side in a project inspired by their walking habit, developed during lockdown.

A flamboyant take on the big band tradition, Dustin Kitsch’s Kitsch Co. UV Ball aims to bring the party atmosphere back to jazz, blending 60’s Rock, 70’s Soca and 90’s House with jazz giants such as Artie Shaw and Gerry Mulligan. And The Dyr Sister’s Fairytales for the Modern Gentleman, the second Kickstart seed commission, will see the surreal world of The Dyr Sister brought to life in a series of immersive performances in Hull’s Humber Street.

Hull Jazz Festival Director David Porter said: “Our Kickstart Commissions series sees us shift our focus towards’ artists development, supporting artists to take on the challenges of creating new work in these very different times. After a devastating 18 months for both the music industry and the world at large, we’re supporting our artists to take a fresh, bold approach, capturing audiences’ imaginations with a new body of work that reflects the times we live in.”

The Kickstart Commissions have been made possible with the support of the DCMS Culture Recovery Fund.